Making Progress (Part 3)

In case you’re new here (hi!), I’ve been writing about making progress on the big stuff we want to do. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.

In line with the recipe for progress (Microsteps + Commitment = Progress), I committed to working through the Right-Brain Business Plan.

It did not go as expected.

I set three appointments with myself. Put them on the calendar and everything.

The first appointment was frustrating because the RBBP is image-based, and I was seriously lacking in available images.

But it showed me all sorts of things about why it can seem like committing to something doesn’t actually help us get it done. Which, in turn, helped me create a workbook to share with you guys.

(You can still get the workbook by signing up in the box in the right sidebar, or by signing up in the Part 2 post.)

The biggest thing it showed me is the importance of really wanting the thing you’re committing to.

Without that, you’re almost sure to peter out when you try to do the work.

In a nutshell, that’s what happened to me with the RBBP.

Although it’s something I would like to do, and it’s something that would be good for me to do, it’s not something I want to do right now. (I’ve written before about the pitfalls of doing something you don’t truly want just because it would be good for you.)

There’s other stuff that’s higher on the priority list. And I’m dealing with meat-suit issues again.

Add it all up and I just didn’t have the steam to follow through.

Quitting’s not so easy

I’ve got some Stuff around quitting. It’s hard for me not to see it as a form of failure.

Maybe some of you read the posts, got the workbook, committed to something, and now you’re considering whether to continue.

Maybe you’ve got Quitting Baggage like I do and you feel like you’ve failed if you quit, but you’re struggling to find the juice to continue.

If you get nothing else from reading this post, here’s what I want you to know:

If you got as far as even considering committing to and microstepping the thing you want to do, you have not failed.

It’s a process.

Yes, in an ideal world, we only commit to the things we truly want. Our lives cooperate enough to fulfill the commitment. We might have a hard time along the way, but we keep reminding ourselves why we committed in the first place. And we find the discipline to carry on even when things are hard.

In an ideal world…hahahahaha!

Sometimes things don’t work out ideally.

We sign up for something we don’t truly want.
We over-estimate our capacity to take on another commitment.
The cost of the commitment far outweighs the current and future benefit.

What to do if that’s what’s happened to you?

Approach the situation mindfully.

Look at your own patterns around commitments, and the following through (or the bailing out) of them.

(My own pattern is that I tend to commit without thinking through what the commitment will require from me.)

Pay attention to how it feels while fulfilling the commitment.

Notice how you feel after you’ve backed out.

Take notes on what you learned.

Beating yourself up won’t help, so don’t bother. Especially if you chose as well as you could based on reasonable information.

Nothing is wasted. There are no mistakes.

Try to remember that nothing is wasted. Sometimes, it’s not possible to know whether you’re ready to commit until you’ve committed.

Trust that if you un-commit to something you actually really do want, you’ll get the chance to re-commit.

Likewise, if you fulfill the commitment and it wasn’t what was right for you, there’s still so much learning in that.

We all want to make progress on stuff. We’re taught to find our worth in it.

But this is important: Don’t forget to define “progress” for yourself.

In my definition, noticing and gathering information counts for a lot.

How about you?

How did you do with committing and microstepping (or not)?
What insights did you gather?

Don’t forget, the Microstep Support Sessions are still available through Friday, May 6. Whether you know your next project or still need to choose, let me support you in making progress as painlessly as possible.

2 thoughts on “Making Progress (Part 3)

  1. Patty K

    Thank you for sharing your honest experience, Victoria.

    I can *so* relate to the quitting/commitment thing. I have it too. What I’ve discovered recently is that I can’t know for certain that I really *want* to do something…until I *try* it.

    And allowing yourself to *try* something means allowing yourself to quit if it doesn’t work out. Which is one of those things that is easy (and logical) to say…and yet another to do. So much comes packaged up with the quitting: the frustration of not finding the “right thing” yet, the embarrassment of making announcements and then changing tracks, the self-judgments about being flaky or lazy, the sunk costs of investments in programs/courses (not to mention the time)…

    Yet in the end, you are *so* right: nothing is ever wasted. The entire experience serves our growth.

  2. Shannon Wilkinson

    This is a post that I should just have emailed to myself periodically. Just a reminder to look at commitments with this filter. It’s so helpful. Thanks for being willing to share this!

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